I was a dignitary. For one day.
Yesterday, when The Park at Wrigley opened, I was invited to make some remarks and to cut the ceremonial ribbon with cartoonishly large scissors. Chicago Cubs President of Business Operations Crane Kenney emceed the event on an opening day so warm and pleasant, you knew it wouldn’t last. We heard brief speeches from Mayor Rahm Emanuel and owner, Tom Ricketts. Melissa Flynn from Green City Market spoke about farmers markets coming to this lovely new outdoor space every Thursday. Beau Graves from The Old Town School talked about musical events for kids and adults that they will bring to The Park. And the owner of the great Music Box Theatre on Southport announced that the first movie night would offer Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Anyone remember the connection that movie has to Wrigley Field? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
When it was my turn, I spoke about the excitement of having this outdoor space in the shadow of Wrigley Field where some of our favorite bands will play.
A line of local schoolkids held up the ceremonial ribbon before the assembled V.I.P.s, press and fans. Those of us on stage reached under our chairs where we each carefully picked up the gigantic scissors and The Park at Wrigley was officially open.
My wife gave me a ride home. We met a neighbor when we parked who asked how the event went. I held up my 3 foot long scissors and started opening and closing them.
“Look at these commemorative scissors! They’re crazy. They’re so huge.” I said.
“Give me those,” my wife said as one of the blades came within an inch of my leg.
From dignitary to five year old boy in an hour.